Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weekly Recipe - My Swedish Pancakes (Using Whole Wheat Pastry & Barley Flours)

Have you ever bought something at a yard sale or thrift shop that you could not identify? I have a thing for cast iron pans. I love them, I use them, I give them to others and hope that they will love them. At this point, I have as many cast iron pans as one household could need, a 12", a 10", a square one with ridges for grilling, and a 9" crepe pan that is thin and super light for swirling around batter in the pan. I really didn't need anymore... then one day, I came across a cast iron pan with seven recessed circles in it. And when I flipped it over, a ribbed flower pattern on the bottom (I should take a picture of the bottom...). I had no idea what it was for. I thought maybe for eggs, but thinking of my egg poaching pan I knew the wells were too shallow. I am a bit of a kitchen gadget and equipment nerd but have been stumped before. Anyway, whatever it was for, I knew it was a specialty pan like my madeleine pan and my Nordic Ware mini bundt pan. I knew I would one day figure out what it was for and kick myself for not buying it. Especially since it was $3! Plus I thought to myself, it is so flat that I can store it under the lazy Susan in the corner cabinet where I store my pots and pans...

... which is exactly where it stayed until my birthday this past November. That is the morning that I woke up thinking I wanted to make a pannekoeken, a traditional Dutch pancake that is cooked in a skillet in the oven. I have eaten them, have a great Dutch cookbook series, but have never made them. And yes, my idea of fun, on my own birthday, is to cook something I have never made first thing in the morning. I am not a morning person, but I am skilled at breakfast making, and the thought of a hot pannekoeken was all the inspiration I needed. My daughters agreed and I jumped online to find a recipe for Swedish pancakes, BECAUSE the whole time I had been thinking about making a pannekoeken, I had been calling it a Swedish pancake. I had my countries and breakfast foods mixed up, hence the reason I didn't go and look the recipe up in my Dutch cookbooks! And am I ever glad I got mixed up. In fact, I believe that my Great Grandma Gerda, from Sweden, was looking down on me that day, because as I looked at the first image that popped up from my search for "Swedish pancake" I SAW MY CAST IRON PAN!! And, I started dancing around the kitchen with my wee ones, laughing, and brandishing the pan that I NOW knew was a Swedish pancake pan! HAHAHAHA. The reason that I had never know about this pan, since my grandmother, Harriett, daughter of Gerda, did make pancakes for me, is because she just made them in a regular pan. Which you can totally do. So, no worries if you don't have a "special" pan like me, you will be a-ok, and very happy that you followed the recipe for Swedish pancakes below. I have tweaked this recipe to fit our tastes and these pancakes are different than crepes, pancakes, and pannekoeken. They are richer, thinner, but moister than a traditional pancake. Give them a whirl. They made my birthday extra special and when I spoke with my grandmother Harriett on the phone, while I was making them, they made her happy as well. She has been losing her short term memory but when I told her I was making Swedish pancakes I could hear her voice change and it was like she was back on the farm as a kid. She was excited and it touched my heart because since my grandfather died she is never very excited. As I hung up the phone I felt happy to have made her day and happy to know we can now make pancakes that will always remind me of her.

Swedish Pancakes
By Tiffany Teske
Serves 3 to 4

I use organic ingredients whenever possible.

~ 3 eggs
~ 2 T sugar
~ 1 cup milk
~ 1 cup half and half OR buttermilk (you can use all milk but they will not taste as rich)
~ 3 T melted butter
~ 1/2 tsp sea salt
~ 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
~ 1/4 cup barley flour


1. Using a wire whisk beat the eggs, sugar, milk, half & half or buttermilk, and the melted butter for one minute.
2. Slowly add the flour while continuing to mix. When the flour is completely added blend for an additional 30 seconds.

3. Heat griddle or pan. When griddle or pan is hot, grease with butter or cooking spray. Pour pancake batter in a large circle for crepe size pancakes or small silver dollar size pancakes. They will cook quickly.

Flip when the underside is golden brown and the upper side has an opaque look. They are done when both sides are a golden brown.

4. Serve hot with maple or fruit syrup, powdered sugar, applesauce or, with Lignonberries.


Sandra said...

I've got one of those cast iron pans but have yet to use it. So glad you gave your Grandma some happy; that always makes for a good day for both giver and receiver.

The Swede said...

The Swedish word for pancake is "pannkaka", but small pancakes like these are called "plättar" [plé-tar], and the iron pan "plättlagg".

Your plättar look delicious! :)

Kat Slonaker said...

Is pastry flour crucial? This sounds so yummy - and I love the story of your pan!

Tiffany Teske said...

Hi Sandra, yes, I am teaching my daughter about how nice it feels to do something nice for others. We have fun with that! And I am always glad to bring my grandmother some joy.

Thanks to you, The Swede, for the lesson in Swedish. I guess my grandmother made pannkaka. I always wanted to learn Swedish...

Kat, no, you don't have to use pastry flour but if you are planning to use whole wheat flour I would use whole wheat pastry flour. It is not as coarse as plain old whole wheat flour. If you decide not to use the pastry flour I would suggest using half whole wheat and half all purpose flour. A traditional Swedish pancake uses all purpose flour. I tend to experiment a lot with flours and usually have good success. I just wanted to warn you that whole wheat flour will give you heavier pancakes. I buy whole wheat pastry flour at a health food store for about $3 for 1 KG. I no longer buy the heavy whole wheat flour as I have found the pastry version works well in all my recipes. The only case where it may not be good is in bread, I don't really make bread, so maybe the coarser flour is better in bread... do you know, Sandra?

AmbreRose said...

My grandmother is Swedish and everyone of her grandchildren has a plattpan which has been the best present she could ever give. Usually on Christmas mornings we all sit down and eat the heck out of these plättars. Now that all of my family has a plattpan the cooking goes much faster :)
I love that you have a real plattpan and don't make the huge plate size ones and call them plättars. I really like this healthy version of them. Now I don't feel as bad eatting tons of them.